Friday, December 19, 2008

Parting Prescription From Dr. Bush

The Administration's final gift to American health care could keep pulmonologists busy with patients afflicted by its breath-taking cynicism.

The Health and Human Services Department has issued a rule prohibiting "discrimination" against doctors, nurses and health care aides who refuse to take part in procedures because of their convictions and barring hospitals, clinics, doctors’ office and pharmacies from forcing them to do so.

"This rule," says the Secretary, "protects the right of medical providers to care for their patients in accord with their conscience.”

Abortion is the obvious subtext but, if literally applied, the new standard could allow vegetarian doctors to withhold cholesterol-lowering treatment from meat eaters and abstinent pharmacy clerks to decline filling prescriptions for birth-control pills.

But the rule is not about health care. The regulations are timed to coincide with the start of the new administration, which will surely overturn them but allow Republican candidates in the next election to claim that the Obama people are forcing devout doctors and nurses to become baby killers against their will.

Patients won't suffer, but the body politic will take a long time to recover from its Bush infection.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Before buying any kind of meds at the pharmacy, it wouldn't be a bad idea to ask them whether or not they fill scripts for birth control, including emergency birth control. Don't shop there if you don't like their answer.